When I married Greg, I accepted the lifelong mission of making him Italian. He’s quickly caught to certain aspects from the copious amounts of food we make for holidays (not just Italian food either) and the fact that spaghetti cheese should never come from a green container.
Taking him on an eating tour of Italy helped!
Side note: Does anyone else call grated cheese spaghetti cheese?
Christmas dinner became a turning point in Greg’s conversion– he had lasagna made with homemade noodles. My dad and sister spent the afternoon rolling out the lasagna sheets while my mom boiled and assembled the dish.
Side note: I have a very hard time with no bake noodles due to the amount of sauce/gravy you have to add. You run a fine line between having soup or a dried out lasagna. Lasagna is a labor of love, take the extra 15 minutes to cook your noodles.
She even separated the ricotta filling into three bowls to have an even amount between the layers. It was perfection. Greg was in heaven although his stomach was in pain from all the lasagna and braciola. So tonight’s recipe includes some great aspects of lasagna. The internet offers a variety of recipes with increasing amount of steps. This recipe felt more like lasagna to me based upon the ricotta mixture. Yes, it took more time than some of the less involved recipes but as I said, lasagna is a labor of love.
The best part about this recipe– no messed up first slice of lasanga. Just dip and eat!
Lasagna Dip (based on I Heart Eating’s recipe)
- 1/2 lb. Italian sausage (or ground turkey/beef)
- 1/4 c. chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 leaves of basil
- Salt to taste
- 1 ½ c. ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese,
- 1 c. shredded Italian cheese blend or mozzarella
1. Find a shallow baking dish and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown sausage and make sure you break up the big pieces (in case you didn’t get all the pieces, feel free to cut with kitchen scissors after browning).
3. Drain and set aside.
4. Dice 1/4 cup of onion and mince your garlic. Make your husband sautee them for a minute or two in the pan. (use the same one you browned the meat in).
5. Add the can of tomatoes, basil, and salt.
6. After two minutes, add the sausage.
7. Let simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. While you are waiting for it to simmer, stir together ricotta, egg, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
9. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.
10. Pour the simmering sauce over the cheese and top with Parmesan cheese and shredded cheese.
11. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
12. Serve with sliced Italian bread (we’re actually having the leftover topping quinoa for dinner tomorrow night).